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Ole Miss falls to No. 24 in AP poll

Another loss sent Ole Miss plummeting in the rankings.

The Rebels dropped 11 spots to No. 24 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday following their 37-24 loss at Memphis on Saturday. Only Pittsburgh, which rounded out the rankings with 73 points, received less points from voters than the Rebels’ 158.

Ole Miss also fell 11 spots to No. 23 in the coaches poll.

Ohio State held on to the No. 1 spot with Baylor, Utah, TCU and LSU rounding out the top 5, respectively. Alabama is the next highest-ranked Southeastern Conference team at No. 8 followed by Florida (13) and Texas A&M (15).

Memphis was the biggest mover in the rankings, coming in at No. 18 after being unranked a week ago, after sending the Rebels (5-2, 2-1 SEC) to their second loss since winning at Alabama on Sept. 19. The first came at Florida on Oct. 3.

Ole Miss starts a string of five straight games against SEC opponents in the final six weeks of the regular season this Saturday against the Aggies (5-1, 2-1) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (6 p.m., ESPN) and still controls its destiny in the Western Division.

But the Rebels will have to quickly find remedies for some season-long ailments. Ole Miss ranks eighth in the SEC in rush offense (167 yards per game), 12th in pass defense (229.3) and 12th in third-down percentage defense (43 percent).

“We still have a lot to play for as far as our conference goes,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said, “but our character will be tested.”